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  You are @ HomeAdults A day in my life

A day in my life

Source: Adults

Author: Rhona Aitken

Title: Exercise



Exercise is - to me - quite as dreadful as Marmite can be to some other people. Not nice - in fact - awful.
As a child I wasn’t so much fat - as lumpy. All this dashing around the gym in brown serge knickers and a chilly vest was a most humiliating experience. I had knock-knees too. No matter how hard I tried I could never clamber up that horrible rope. Everyone else could - except me. And as far as running up to a spring-board - jumping on it and - supposedly with its assistance - leaping over the rigid, unhelpful, hard wooden horse to hopefully land on that big hairy mat the other side - well - my black eye and grazed elbows tell their own story


The only time I ever hit a ball at Rounders - no-one could see where it went. When I woke up in the school sanatorium they told me it had gone straight up into the air and then straight down again. The big, red bump received much admiration.

When the winter term started ,while cheerfully skating with what to me must have seemed blithe abandon - I got a bit too carried away to the lovely strains of ’The Blue Danube’ - allowing legs and body to go in different directions. Bump number two was not as large as bump number one.

It wasn’t only sports that caused the damage. Highland Dancing came a close second. I tried - I really did - to distinguish ’left’ from ’right’ - but at speed it was confusing. Doh-si-doh - so easy for everyone else was a mine-field for me. We all took Highland Dancing very seriously because we had to perform in front of the parents. I threatened mine with extermination if she turned up! Go the wrong way in the Gay Gordons and there is no way back. And your partner could kill you. Death all around.
I longed for the holidays where my invariably static Mother stayed put. Or she did - until one day she became utterly charmed by a Guards Officer called Laurie. Laurie was into Horses (Household Cavalry), so one sunny day we were invited to stroke the noses of the horses at Knightsbridge Barracks. That, needless to say, led to an interest in getting on them , and that meant (Mother was easily influenced) riding lessons on Richmond Common. In a way this was fun. The Common was beautiful and I proved better at riding (Not difficult) than gym or dancing, and I grew fond of my good-natured horse. All went well until the day Mother got off her less obliging animal to stroke the nose of one of the-numerous deer that lived on the Common. It took great exception and after snorting down its pretty little nose -bit her - on her well-endowed frontage. Deer have big teeth. She shrieked -let go of the horse, which cascaded into mine - which shot for home with me still on board - leaving Mother shrieking even louder than before and bleeding. That was the end of riding. Anyway, by that time the new term had started. The spring term. Netball? Rounders - again. Perhaps I could plead a sore foot? Perhaps.

As I got older I did not get any better. All our children leap around like gazelles. But there are several of them - so I am comfortably, simply on Lemonade Duty.

P.S. I’m very good at ten-pin bowling!





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